This is just one more example of how throwing money at a social problem won’t solve anything. Sex offenders living under a bridge in Miami-Dade County, Florida, are receiving federal stimulus money to help them find housing. If poverty were the real culprit here, then a little extra cash could make everything better. But it’s not.
Rather, ridiculously harsh residency restrictions for sex offenders and public paranoia quarantine these men and women into huddled masses beneath a makeshift shelter.
People with sex-offense convictions in Miami-Dade County have to stay 2,500 feet away from public places where children gather—like schools, libraries, and parks. Evidence shows that draconian laws such as these do not make us safer. Instead, they sweep up a whole slew of men and women who pose no risk to the public, slap a label on them, and make their lives nearly impossible.
Protecting the public is an honorable goal. But, these laws are not the way to do it. Until we reject them—and the false ideas that undergird them—our modern-day leper colonies will continue to exist.